Jubilee Park And Community Center’s 20th Anniversary Gala Patron Party Were Honored At Monica and Joe Eastin’s Preston Hollow Home

After providing education, affordable housing, public health, public safety and economic development for Jubilee Park and Community Center families in southeast Dallas for 20 years, Jubilee key supporters gathered for a cocktail party on Tuesday, September 26. The occasion was to hear about the 20th Anniversary Gala at the Omni Dallas Hotel on Saturday, November 4. Here’s a report from the field: 

Jubilee Park and Community Center with 20th Anniversary gala Co-Chairs Lydia and Bill Addy welcomed more than 100 sponsors, host committee members and supporters at a cocktail reception on Tuesday, September 26. 

Joe and Monica Eastin*

Diane Metcalf-Leggette and Taylor Miller*

Jubilee Park Commemorative 20th Anniversary bracelets**

Held at the Preston Hollow home of Monica and Joe Eastin, partygoers arrived and mingled while enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. On view was a trio of Jubilee’s 20th anniversary commemorative bracelets, designed by Dallas jewelry designer Taylor Miller. The handmade bracelets feature natural materials, including wood and chyrsoprase beads, and a custom brass “Jubilee” charm, and are available on the Jubilee Park website.

Mid-way through the evening, Jubilee Park CEO Ben Leal welcomed attendees and thanked all for their support of the upcoming 20th Anniversary Gala.  Co-chairs Lydia and Bill added their gratitude to the evening’s hosts as well as the many sponsors and host committee members in attendance.   

Lydia then announced this year’s honorary chairs would be Peggy and Mark Anschutz, who were in attendance, and recognized them as two of the founding catalysts for Jubilee Park 20 years ago. She also revealed the gala’s presenting sponsor, ISN Software Corporation, along with generous support from The Moody Foundation.  

Bill and Lydia Addy and Ben Leal*

Peggy and Mark Anschutz*

David and Maria Martin*

Bill announced the gala’s additional lead sponsors including Crow Holdings, Park Place Dealerships, Mary Stewart and Jim Ramsey and Maria and David Martin.  The support of all of the gala’s generous sponsors will enable Jubilee to launch a new Specialized Student Support (S3) Program. 

Ben Leal returned to give additional details regarding the new Specialized Student Support (S3) Program for children with special learning needs. The S3 program will combine teacher training, adaptive technology, specialized curriculum and parent empowerment to make high quality education accessible for more families.  He shared that they know of at least 150 children in Jubliee’s area who are in need of these services, and that they want to use their best practices in education, plus new specialized components, to meet that need.  He also said that the 20th Anniversary gala’s net revenue goal of $1 million will make these critical interventions accessible over the next eight years as the S3 Program becomes part of Jubilee’s ongoing Out of School Time Programs. 

Bill and Anne Johnson*

Doris Bonvino and Mary Neely*

Jim and Nancy Skochdopole*

Daniel Gerber and Elizabeth Hoffman*

Betsy Mosquera and Aline Bass*

Jeff and Darrel Rice*

In closing the Addy’s encouraged everyone including Nancy and Jim Skochdopole, Doris Bonvino, Mary Neely, Anne and Bill Johnson, Betsy Mosquera, Aline Bass, Daniel Gerber, Elizabeth Hoffman, Diane Metcalf-Leggette, Jeff and Darrel Rice, Ellen Muth, Pat and Claude Prestidge and Tiffany Davis to promote the gala on Saturday, November 4, to their friends and colleagues, including an After Party hosted by the Young Friends Host Committee beginning at 8:30 p.m. 

Ellen Muth, Pat Prestidge, Claude Prestidge and Tiffany Davis*

The 20th Anniversary Gala will be held at the Omni Dallas Hotel, starting at 6 p.m. The black-tie optional evening will include cocktails, a seated dinner, party games, dancing to live music by Dallas’ renowned Emerald City Band, party games, raffle prizes, and an oversized surprise unveiled by Jubilee’s Young Friends Host Committee members. 

Individual tickets are $250 each and now on sale; sponsorships begin at $2,500. After Party tickets are $125 and include drinks, dancing, party games and late-night bites. To purchase tickets or sponsorships, visit www.jubileecenter.org/gala or contact Lindsay Abernethy at 469.718.5702 or [email protected]

 About Jubilee Park: 

Jubilee Park and Community Center is a catalyst for community renewal and enrichment to the Jubilee Park Neighborhood, a 62- block area in southeast Dallas. Founded in 1997, Jubilee Park and Community Center helps families and other members of the community identify and access resources that help to provide stability and enhance their quality of life through five pillars: education, affordable housing, public health, public safety and economic development.   For more information, visit www.jubileecenter.org. 

* Photo credit: Michael Bruno 
** Photo provided by Jubilee Park and Community Center

Jewelry Designer Taylor Miller Has Created A Trio Of Bracelets To Benefit Jubilee Park And Community Center’s 20th Anniversary

Jubilee Park and Community Center is celebrating 20 years of providing members of a 62-block area in southeast Dallas with “education, affordable housing, public health, public safety and economic development.” And what better way to celebrate an anniversary than with jewelry and friends.

Dallas-based jewelry designer Taylor Miller of Hazen Jewelry has created three handmade bracelets made of “natural materials, including wood and chyrsophase beads and a customer brass ‘Jubilee’ charm.”  

Jubilee Park Commemorative 20th Anniversary bracelets*

According to Jubilee Park 20th Anniversary Host/Jewelry Committee Member Marilyn Harbison, “This little trio of bracelets is so versatile and stylish. Our tagline for the 20th is ‘Celebrate, Love, Dream’ and I like to think these represent each of those words. We hope people will get their holiday shopping done early, and support this great cause.”

But before heading to one of your favorite bling-bling businesses for the bracelets, put on the brakes. These little gems are going to be available for purchase at St. Michael’s Woman’s Exchange in Highland Park Village. If you’re a member of St. Michael’s, you can also purchase the bracelets every Sunday until October 29.

And if you’re worrying about using up gas, you can always order online here!

Jubilee Park Commemorative 20th Anniversary bracelets*

With 100% of proceeds benefiting “Jubilee Park’s 20th anniversary initiative to provide educational enrichment to love-income children with special learning needs,” the bracelets cost $50 each and $125 for the trio.

Jubilee Park 20th Anniversary Chair Lydia Addy said, “Jubilee’s impact over the last 20 years has been astounding to watch, and a joy to be part of. We want more people to be a part of the celebration through these custom bracelets. With each purchase, children who struggle with special learning needs will have the chance to thrive in Jubilee’s award-winning afterschool and summer program. Plus they go with everything — a win-win!”

* Photos provided by Jubilee Park and Community Center

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Jubilee Park And Community Center’s 20th Anniversary

According to Jubilee Park and Community Center’s 20th Anniversary Gala Co-Chairs Lydia and Bill Addy,

Ben Leal and Lydia and Bill Addy*

Jubilee Park and Community Center, a national model for community revitalization and enrichment, will celebrate its 20th anniversary this fall! 

 

To commemorate this milestone, Jubilee will host its first-ever gala on Saturday, November 4, at the Omni Hotel in Downtown Dallas. The black-tie optional evening will include cocktails, a seated dinner, party games, dancing to live music by Dallas’ renowned Emerald City Band, and an oversized surprise unveiled by Jubilee’s Young Friends Host Committee members. 

Jubilee Park is in the short list of organizations nearest and dearest to us. It’s a great example of how partnership and hard work can turn a neighborhood around, and set the standard for other organizations.  We’re excited that our kids, our friends, our friends’ kids, and a whole bunch of great people are coming together to celebrate Jubilee’s 20th anniversary. Jubilee doesn’t usually do these sorts of events, and there won’t be a 21st anniversary gala, so we’re doing this one right.

We remember signing up with other members of St. Michael and All Angels to help build the first two houses in Jubilee Park. We had no idea at the time what the future held for the Jubilee neighborhood, but we couldn’t help noticing the incredible energy, cooperation, and sense of purpose amongst the people of the neighborhood and the volunteers. This can-do spirit on the part of so many people is the reason that Jubilee Park is now a place many are proud to call home. We are honored to be a part of the 20th Anniversary celebration. We are bringing together all of the generations of volunteers and neighbors who have made Jubilee what it is today and we’re just looking forward to a fantastic party!

Proceeds from the gala will help launch a new Specialized Student Support (S3) Program for children with special learning needs. The S3 program will combine teacher training, adaptive technology, specialized curriculum and parent empowerment to make high quality education accessible for more families. The gala will raise $1.3 million to fund the first eight years of the program, building a model for other organizations around the country.

The 20th Anniversary Gala will be held on Saturday, November 4, at 6 p.m. at the Omni Dallas Hotel, located at 555 S. Lamar in Downtown Dallas. Tickets are $250 each; sponsorships begin at $2,500. For more information, visit www.jubileecenter.org or contact Lindsay Abernethy at 469.718.5702 or [email protected].

Jubilee Park and Community Center is a catalyst for community renewal and enrichment to the Jubilee Park Neighborhood, a 62-block area in southeast Dallas. Founded in 1997, Jubilee Park and Community Center helps families and other members of the community identify and access resources that help to provide stability and enhance their quality of life through five pillars: education, affordable housing, public health, public safety and economic development.   For more information, visit www.jubileecenter.org.

* Photo provided by Jubilee Park and Community Center

What Do A Buffalo And A Maverick Have In Common? Jubilee Park!

One wouldn’t necessarily think that a buffalo and a basketball player would have much in common. But on Thursday, September 15, these two got together at Jubilee Park and Community Center. The occasion was the reopening of Jubilee Park with new playground equipment, walking paths and the dedication of a new basketball court for kids and families from the surrounding area.

Ben Leal, George McCleskey, Jeff Rice, Floyd Jahner and Mavs Man*

Ben Leal, George McCleskey, Jeff Rice, Floyd Jahner and Mavs Man*

The court was the result of a partnership between PlainsCapital Bank and the Mavs Foundation. And while such heavy-hitting execs like PlainsCapital Bank Dallas Region Chair George McCleskey, Dallas Mavericks COO and Mavs Foundation Floyd Jahner and Jubilee Park Executive Director Ben Leal and Board Chair Jeff Rice were in shirt sleeves and sundresses, the scene stealers for the kids were PlainsCapital’s Mo the Buffalo and Mavs’ wing 22-year-old Justin Anderson.

Mo the Buffalo*

Mo the Buffalo*

While Mo leisurely just grazed on hay and was gazed upon, the Mavericks Dancers, Drumline and ManiAAcs and Mavs Man were in high gear. But towering above the rest, Justin recalled the crowd, “When it comes to outdoor court, I remember being young, and it’s almost like everything else that’s been going on that day, that week. It’s all erased, and you’re just out there and you’re just soaking up each moment. I’m so excited to be able to see the smiles on their faces once again and be able to shoot hoops with them, because I know how much as a child it meant to me of the older kids to let me shoot around and player with them.”

Justin Anderson demonstrating a free throw*

Justin Anderson demonstrating a free throw*

Following the speeches and dedication complete with plaque, Justin shot the inaugural free throws with the children from Jubilee Park followed by a mini-basketball clinic.

* Photo credit: Danny Bollinger

PlainsCapital Does A $100K Bang-up Job At The Teen Place In Jubilee Park

Who said Christmas is long gone? Not the folks at Jubilee Park & Community Center. They just received a nice check . . . no, make that a very nice check ($100,000) from the PlainsCapital Corporation family (PlainsCapital Bank, FirstSouthwest and PrimeLending) to totally renovate Jubilee Park’s Teen Place.

The current building is a converted Habitat for Humanity house for “Jubilee Park’s youth and teen after-school programs that provide a safe and nurturing environment for local students.”

But the building just wasn’t right for kids to “study and learn.” It was a house for living, not learning! Thanks to the check, “a full renovation, both inside and out, will make the space more open, inviting and accessible for neighborhood youth.”

Ron Davis, J.J. Gomez, Michael Keith, Mo the Buffalo, Latonia Donaldson, Ben Leal and Ronnie Berg

Ron Davis, J.J. Gomez, Michael Keith, Mo the Buffalo, Latonia Donaldson, Ben Leal and Ronnie Berg

After the check was presented, the first thing that took place was a big old demolition of the building’s outer wall. On hand were all types of VIPs including Pete Villarreal, Latonia Donaldson, Jerry Schaffner, Tom Harbison, Ron Davis, Jay Negerra and PlainsCapital’s mascot Mo the Buffalo.

According to PlainsCapital Bank Dallas Region Chairman George McCleskey, “At PlainsCapital Corporation, we are committed to improving the communities where we live and do business and we are honored to partner with Jubilee Park, an organization that shares this commitment to our local community and youth population. We are proud to sponsor the renovation project, as well as youth financial literacy programs that will provide future generations with the tools they need to make sound financial decisions.”

Any money that is not used for the renovation will be “used to implement financial literacy education programs for middle school student at Jubilee Park, as well as a ‘Pays for A’s’ program that will reward students with $5 for every ‘A’ received on their report card after they complete the financial literacy program.”

For area newbies, Jubilee Park is a 62-block neighborhood near Fair Park in southeast Dallas that has been undergoing revitalization since 1997.

“Jubilee Park is excited to partner with PlainsCapital for the Teen Place renovation,” said Jubilee Park Executive Director Ben Leal. “The original space was a single-family home and did not function well as a space to provide after-school and youth programming. Because of the generosity of PlainsCapital Bank, FirstSouthwest and PrimeLending, the facility will soon become a place where the youth and teens of southeast Dallas can study and learn.”

This six-figure donation will not only renovate a building, it will result in youngsters taking their experiences to classrooms and benefiting for years to come.

Photo provided by PlainsCapital Corporation

Crystal Charity Ball’s “Le Grand Bal Parisien” — C’est Très Magnifique

Marie Antoinette wasn’t all that bad. If only she’d had advisers like the Crystal Charity Ball gals to whisper in her ear, “Think charity instead of vanity,” she might have kept her wits and wigged head.

Luckily the CCB ladies used all the beauty, glamour and “awe” factor to raise more than $4M for children’s charities Saturday night at the Hilton Anatole. In fact they even impressed some heady out-of-towners with Le Grand Bal Parisien. But more about those visitors later.

Le Grand Bal Parisien

Let’s start at the beginning. It was indeed a grand event under the leadership of CCB Chair Aileen Pratt and her conseiller/event producer extraordinaire Tom Addis.

PRE-GALA

Before the first slippered toe entered beneath the Arc de Triomphe with French flags on either side and “I Love Paris” and “The Last Time I Saw Paris” playing in the background, the CCB gals had worked until the latest second to make sure even last-minute “oops” were dismissed. For

Chantilly Ballroom

instance, those nearly 200 candelabra centerpieces with 10 electronic candles and crystals draped in the ballroom had proved to be as temperamental as a crazed prima donna. Earlier in the day they had started showing signs of being overwhelmed by the responsibility of lighting up the room,  and required some shoring up. The towering centerpieces were reinforced to perfection like a Sam Hamra facelift. After all, one would never want a candelabra to be a party pooper during the legendary fundraiser.

Eric Coudron and Emily Bernet

Even the Anatole’s tried-and-true elephant statues in the lobby outside the Chantilly Ballroom were undercover for the night. Thanks to truckloads of shrubbery and other lively greenery, the Lamberts team concealed the mastodons in a lush garden of colorful flowers. Within this Versailles-like garden of roses and peonies, Emily Bernet in 18th century attire sat prettily in a swing with Eric Coudron giving a gentle push every now and then. Despite a blinding spotlight, the two from the Preston Center Dance studio created a perfect backdrop for guests to be photographed.

Eiffel Tower in the Hilton Anatole lobby

Just behind this quaint scene was a magnificent 40-foot tall, gleaming gold Eiffel Tower that seemed to reach to the ceiling of the hotel’s second floor. You were expecting an oil derrick? At the base of the tower were garden statues and, nearby, ice sculptures of the Eiffel Tower atop mountains of shrimp that were the size of lobsters. You were expecting crawfish? Just a few steps away were baskets and arrangements of fruits, cheeses and breads.

On the left of the lobby was the silent auction, with treasures that would have  impressed Louis XIV’s court. This year the auction was beautifully divided into six categories (travel, sports, fashion, jewelry, dining and entertainment, and home and garden). And to designate each area, no tacky signs would be allowed. Instead magnificent framed tableaux by local creative royals (Paige Baten-Locke – travel, John Clutts – fashion, Brad Hatton – sports, Sherry Hayslip – jewelry, Tish Key – home and garden and Lynn Sears– dining and entertainment) presided over the biddables. Highlighting some of the scenes were live models (flight attendant, French damsel, equestrian).

Sherry Hayslip tableau

On the other side of the lobby were the BBVA Compass casino and gifts and prize shop.

And everywhere were more than 1750 formally attired guests impressing the Anatole guests who wandered through the lobby with their luggage.

COCKTAIL PARTY

As marvelous as the decorations and food in the Anatole’s lobby were, it was still the guests, their fashions and their tidbits of news that complimented the gala.

Fashion-wise —  Despite being under the weather and confined to her Anatole suite most of the day, Chair Aileen dazzled in her Oscar de la Renta gown and her own jewelry with husband Jack, children Caroline and Michael and her dad Teodosio Mejia. . . Jennifer Sampson wore her mom-in-law’s vintage Melinda Eng black gown. . . Clad in Vera Wang were Janie Cooke, Lynn

Caroline Pratt, Michael Pratt and Aileen and Jack Pratt

McBee with Loro Piana wrap and Kathleen Gibson . . . Despite the unusually warm first day of December, some gals (Jennifer Clark, in an Oscar cape that she bought at the CCB auction years ago, and Sarah Losinger) decided to play it safe and wore fur stoles and mini-capes. You just never know if the ballroom’s A/C is going to be blowing and going. . .  Ah, but the most popular item of the night — Judith Leiber purses. They were being clutched and hung from wrists everywhere (Diane Brierley in Carolina Herrera, Barbara Stuart, Lynn McBee, Jennifer Clark, Katy Bock, to name a few). . . But not all were in brand spanking new gowns. Faye Briggs was in a tomato red Galanos that the late designer fitted on her himself about 30 years ago . . . Barbara

Janie Condon , Lynn McBee and Mary Gill

Stuart wore a turquoise gown with wrap from Patti Flowers that she’s had for a couple or so years. . . .Alas, one poor gal had hit the Champagne with such zest that she couldn’t for the life of her remember who designed her ivory gown.

And the men managed to look pretty darn stellar in their formal attire. Hal Brierley in Zegna, Bob Schlegel in Armani tux with black shirt from Brioni, Pete Kline fiddling with his new studs, Coley Clark in a Hadleigh suit and Philip Wier in Joseph Abboud.

Gems of the night— In keeping with the razzle-dazzle of the occasion, jewelry was out in full bloom. DeeDee Lee left her jingle-jangle charm bracelet at home and opted for a cuff, necklace and earrings from DeBoulle. . . CCB 2013 Chair Caren Kline‘s cuff and earrings were from Eiseman’s, as were Catherine Regeher‘s pearls and Faye Briggs’ diamond necklace

Kimberly and Justin Whitman

and cross . . .Kimberly Schlegel Whitman complemented her low-cut brown Zac Posen with Cindi Chao earrings and a Van Cleef cuff. . . .  Roz Colombo‘s all-white diamonds from Graff looked like a universe of stars twinkling through her black hair and Nina Ricci black lace gown. . . And who says the theory about the cobbler’s child applies to the wives of local jewelers? Katy Bock in an oh-so-form-fitting Marchese gown sparkled in Bachendorf jewelry, while Stacy Blank in Diamond Doctor gems chatted with Dallas Deloitte’s First Lady Laura Downing in another low-cut midnight blue Jovani gown.

Some wore marvelous sentimental pieces like Janie Condon, who topped off her Notre Dame green Pamella Roland gown with a choker that belonged to her late grandmother, Juanita Miller. In addition to the necklace, Juanita provided the additional advice, “Hold your head up when you wear these.”. . Francie Moody-Dahlberg highlighted her Marchesa ballgown with Burmese ruby necklace and earrings from her father. . . Lynn McBee’s added

Francie Moody-Dahlberg and Kevin Dahlberg

diamond earrings were from her mother. . . A fabulous Tiffany broach on Katherine Coker‘s Aidan Mattox gown was a gift from her father.

Talk About — Since this crowd tends to make headlines, conversations were rather newsy. Myrna in Vicky Teal and Bob Schlegel seemed to be wearing bigger-than-usual smiles, and with good reason. It seems daughters Kimberly Schlegel Whitman (and husband Justin) and Kari Kloewer (and husband Troy) just reported that they’re expecting babies in late spring. The elder Schlegels love nothing more than being grandparents to Kim’s and Justin’s J.R., and now they’ll have two more grand kiddos to adore. . . Faye Briggs was just back from her grandson’s wedding in Mexico. It was a Mayan theme on the beach. . . AT&T’s Holly Reed was talking about the newly announced golf course for South Dallas that AT&T is involved with. “There were so many moving parts,” she said. “And if we do it right, there will be so many more.” Plans call for the course to be able to host a major pro tournament plus the Ryder Cup, at least. . .  Longtime Parkie Robbie Briggs recalled the early days of the Highland Park Village.

Jason and Laura Downing

But even with all those 1700+ types cocktailing, there were some impressive names MIA. Lee Ann and Alan White, Betsy and Jim Sowell and Kelli and Gerald Ford couldn’t make it because they were partying in NYC. Perhaps it had to do with the finalization of Gerald’s Hilltop Holdings acquiring Alan’s PlainsCapital. . . The Deloitte crowd arrived late due to a private pre-gala cocktail party for Deloitte head Barry Salzburg and his wife Evelyn, who had flown in from New York to be at Laura and Jason Downing‘s table.

Annette Simmons, Ed Snider and Lin Spivak

Another elegant entourage that arrived a bit late into the cocktail party belonged to Annette and Harold Simmons. They had been at Jimmy and Carl Westcotts‘ oh-so-French mansion for cocktails. The group was made up of former Dallasite Craig McCaw and his blonde beauty wife Susan, Robin Baker Fell and husband Bob Fell and Comcast Spectator Chair/Philadelphia Flyers’ owner Ed Snider and Lin Spivak. Ed had made news just days before, revealing that he had proposed to Lin in Santa Barbara last week.

THE BALL

But don’t worry. They were there when the doors opened to the ballroom at 9 and they took their places at the table placed strategically between Aileen’s head table (Su-Su and Jerry Meyer, Sharon and Terry Worrell, Jill and Bob Smith, Sue and Joe Justice, Lana and Barry Andrews and Gloria and Bruce Martindale) and the dance floor. The reason for such prestigious placement? Oh, silly ones. Didn’t you know that once again Annette and Harold presented the CCB  with $1M? Within the CCB heavens, that made them the Angels of Grace.

Lana Andrews and Jill Smith

Nancy Dedman and Lauryn Gayle White

And just as the guests like Lisa and Kenny Troutt, Nancy Dedman sporting a cane after hip surgery, Lauryn Gayle White, Lee Bailey with son Mike Bailey, Rachael and Bob Dedman, Jacqueline Fojtasek, Lydia Novakov with Bishop Kevin Farrell, Gina and Ken Betts, U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Ruth and Ken Altshuler, Nancy and Jeremy Halbreich, Caren Prothro, Barb Reynolds, Amara Durham, Linda and Bill Custard, newlyweds Kristen Johnston and Ladd Sanger, oldie weds Skye and Bill Brewer, Rowland Robinson with daughter Kate Robinson Swail, Michal and Loyd Powell, Conlons (Robyn and Don and son Keith) and Perots (Margot and Ross Sr., and Sarah And Ross Jr.) entered the gloriously decorated ballroom, dancers from various French eras filled the dance floors. Wild can-can dancers kicked up their heels and did splits that boggled the mind. Beautifully elegant 18th century court dancers did the minuet, and pristine Harlequin ballerinas pirouetted and were lifted around the floor. No sooner had one group finished a routine than the next one was in place. It made “Dancing With the Stars” look like an elementary school dance recital. And to make sure that the Pratts’ and Simmons’ guests had a clear view of the proceedings, nicely attired security gents politely but firmly suggested that guests might want to observe the performances from other spots in the room.

In fact at one point in the dancing, a can-can dancer’s white spat went flying and fell on the edge of the dance floor. Somehow it ended up in the Westcotts’ hands. Instead of keeping it as an evening’s souvenir, they had it returned to the dancer.

Carl and Jimmy Westcott

Past Crystal Charity Ball chairs

It seemed that as soon as the professional dancers had scampered off the dance floor, guests including past CCB chairs (Connie O’Neill, Cynthia Mitchell, Debbie Oates, Gloria Martindale, Vicki Chapman, Debbie Snell, Jill Smith, Margo Goodwin, Louise Griffeth, Lydia Novakov, Nancy Chapman, Karen Shuford, Linda Beach, Tincy Miller, Randi Halsell, Barbara Stuart, Sara Martineau and Dee Hughes) realized they had truly entered a splendiferous French wonderland. The oh-so familiar Chantilly Ballroom was no more. Gargantuan murals with

Trisha Wilson

elaborate scenes covered the walls. Gilded statues stood beside even more candelabras on pedestals positioned around the dance floor. What was that? Had one of the statues moved? Yes! The statues were gals a la Goldfinger gilding. They had a marvelous spot to observe the boldface dancers (Trisha Wilson with perfectly toned arms outstretched, Chris Heinbaugh dipping Gillian Breidenbach, Linda and Steve Ivy, Paul and Tiffany Divis, Paige Westhoff with Troy Schiermeyer) fill the dance floor.

Chris Heinbaugh and Gillian Breidenbach

But it wasn’t all OMG huge and awesome. The tricky chandeliers that had acted like spoiled debutantes earlier in the day were now behaving themselves. Perhaps it was being paired with breathtaking floral arrangements by Junior Villanueva. Together they created a shimmering glow that made everyone seem younger and more dazzling.

One guest asked her table companion, “Do you think the centerpieces are for sale?” To this question, the companion winked and said, “Honey, for the right price, anything is.”

Place settings

Speaking of the tables, fortunate were those who had someone fluent in French at their opulent tables. While the French menu rolled off the tongue, the courses proved more interesting when served. The salad was a bit tricky for some. Seems that the exquisite candlelight resulted in some guests trying to pour the cup of supposed brown-looking thick dressing on their salade de homard. Oops; the cup contained foie gras. Unlike guests, the lobster salad did not require a fabulous dressing.

The surprise of the course was the tarte à l’oignon et gruyère. Again, the fabulous lighting of the evening made it a wee bit difficult to see exactly what lay flat on the plate. But after the first bite resulted in “Wow!”, the tiny pie was the first to vanish from the plate.

And then there was that tasty-looking napoleon de caviar. “I love caviar,” a matron said just before cutting into what she thought was a cake filled with the salty black roe. Alas, as she sliced into the little cake, the mini-tower toppled. She then realized that the caviar had only been the topping. Hey, this wasn’t a Russian ball! It was France at its finest to match the efforts of 100 women to raise $4,420,489 for such beneficiaries as Jubilee Park and Community Center, Letot Girls’ Residential Treatment Center, North Texas Public Broadcasting – KERA, Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, Retain Foundation of the Southwest, Voice of Hope Ministries, the Wilkinson Center and the Crystal Charity Ball Horizon Projects (The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Society’s Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden).

For many, many more photos, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.